Performances, cultural displays, a quiz and fashion show highlighted the rich cultures of Asia and the Pacific and Hawaiian Islands during the Asian Pacific Islander Spring Festival held by the Carlos Rosario School at the Harvard Street Campus on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
Current Carlos Rosario School students and staff served as the performers and models in the fashion show. Each group introduced their countries to the audience with a song or cultural dance. The attendees at the festival got a taste of the rich culture, languages, traditions and customs of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The morning event began with the Chinese Community Cultural Center group performing a Lion Dance to say “Good Luck” and to foster awareness and appreciation of Chinese culture. The event included Vietnamese ESL Arts student, Minh Cao Pham who sang “Blues Eyes” and “Don’t Forget to Remember” by the Bee Gees. Kane Shimabukuro and Tara Villanueva, Program Manager of Arts Integration and Culture, performed a Hawaiian dance called “Mele Hana Hana.” ESL 3 student Liling Zheng performed the Chinese song “I Love China.” She made the auditorium vibrate with an angelic voice and received a big applause for her performance.
The festival included an interview between the Vietnamese student Minh Cao Pham and the ESL Arts teacher Vincent Scott. An architect and artist, Minh makes furniture from discarded wood – a creative way for him to clean the environment!
One of the most popular performances at the festival was a Chinese Calligraphy demonstration by instructor Liu Zhi from the GW Confucius Institute. At the end of the event, interested attendees could have their name written in Chinese characters.
The festival was emceed by ESL 7 student, Farida Nurhayati from Indonesia. She took the opportunity to talk about the history, geography and cultural beauty of her country and shared with the audience her inspiring story from her home country to the U.S.
Under the theme “Unite Our Mission by Engaging Each Other,” the goal of this festival was to bring the Carlos Rosario community together in unity and to celebrate the rich Asian and Pacific Island heritage in the School. “This a long time tradition of our school that we come together and celebrate the diverse cultures and history of where all of our students come from around the globe,” said Allison Kokkoros, CEO of the school. “This diversity makes our school strong.”
Earlier in the school year, the school also celebrated Hispanic and Black Heritage months. “All these festivals are about embracing each other and learning from each other. It’s not enough to love yourself and your country, you have to embrace and love others countries. That’s what the United States are about,” said HollyAnn Freso-Moore, Harvard Street Campus Principal.
After the morning ceremony, the celebration continued through day with a live after show by SNRG Hip Hop (Washington, DC/Philippines) and food with in the menu, Korean Chicken Bulgogi in the Campus’s cafetaria. A Polynesian dance with Paki Allen closed out the festival.